© 2015 Leijs et al. Three new species of Koonunga were discovered in surface and subterranean waters in southern Australia, and were defined using mtDNA analyses and morphology. The new species are: Koonunga hornei Leijs & King; K. tatiaraensis Leijs & King and K. allambiensis Leijs & King. Molecular clock analyses indicate that the divergence times of the species are older than the landscape that they currently inhabit. Different scenarios explaining this apparent discrepancy are discussed in the context of the palaeography of the area. A freshwater epigean origin for Koonunga is considered the most likely hypothesis, whereby some lineages made the transition to the subterranean environment within the last few million years influenced by significant climatic cooling/drying.We discuss the possibility that one stygobitic lineage secondarily regained some of its body pigmentation as adaptation to increased photic conditions after cave collapse and forming of cenotes during the last glacial maximum.
|Publication status||Published - 26 Aug 2015|